THERE ARE LESSONS IN HISTORY TRUMP SHOULD LEARN – SHINBONE STAR

THERE ARE LESSONS IN HISTORYTRUMP SHOULD LEARN

History.com

“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance” – Samuel Johnson, British writer/thinker

Great minds think alike and poor ones think barely at all. Among the former are wartime American presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR was president when pre-World War Two totalitarian warmongers threatened all of the world’s democracies.

Among the worst thinkers to ever lead America is Donald J. Trump, who Wednesday speciously joined the ranks of brilliant wartime presidents by equating his lackluster leadership since the novel coronavirus emerged with the wartime trials of our most revered Americans.

Claiming himself a wartime president fighting an invisible enemy, Trump used a televised dog and pony show to announce he was invoking wartime emergency powers to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“I view it — in a sense as a wartime president,” Trump said before announcing he was invoking a 20th Century solution to a forgotten war. His authority is the 70-year-old Defense Production Act (DPA) that gives the federal government authority to steer production in the private sector to address shortages in face masks, ventilators, and other medical supplies.

President Harry S. Truman first invoked the tailor-made new law on September 8, 1950, to kickstart industrial production of war materials at the beginning of the Korean War. It was either create a law or be driven from the rimlands of Asia by Communist forces.

At the end of World War II, during September 1945, American production of arms literally ceased. When the proxy war in Korea erupted on June 25, 1950, between Soviet Union-supported North Korea and American-sponsored South Korea, the U.S. was woefully unprepared to fight

The DPA was tailor-made for the situation by authorizing Truman to use loans, direct purchases and other incentives to boost the production of critical goods and essential war materials. It includes specific provisions allowing the federal government to enter agreements with private industry and block foreign mergers and acquisitions harmful to national security.

“We had the best economy we ever had, and one day you have to close it down to defeat this enemy,” Trump declared.

Since 1950, the just-in-case DPA has been reauthorized over 50 times and used several times before Trump came along. Ironically, the last president to invoke the act was President Barack Obama in 2011 to force telecommunication companies including AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc. to divulge confidential information during the government’s hunt for Chinese cyber-spies.

No sooner than Trump invoked the DPA than he said wasn’t prepared to actually do anything with that powerful tool.

“I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need, but we are all in this TOGETHER!,” Trump said yesterday in a racially charged tweet.

Trump’s legions of critics are skeptical, not because the DPA couldn’t help, but because it will upset his powerful industrial supporters who yearn to maintain their privileged status quo. Cynics argue his reluctance is likely to change when his minions realize the potential for abuse that exists in an environment where winking at federal law is considered good policy.

A very early observer of the American political scene was British Prime Minister William Pitt. He was British Secretary of State when the French-Indian War was fought from 1754 to 1763 over northern border disputes by British and allied colonial troops against France and its Native American proxies. Although Pitt never supported American independence, he is recognized as a brilliant wartime British leader who understood the difference between an inspired leader and a blithering idiot.

“An eagerness and zeal for dispute on every subject, and with every one, shows great self-sufficiency, that never-failing sign of great self-ignorance,” Pitt once opined.

Pitt’s prescient observation is still valid, perhaps never more so since Trump assumed the mantle of a wartime president when his proven ability to make war is on par with his ability to inspire the nation with insipid drivel.

Trump’s sudden remake as a wartime leader is not new. The tradition of claiming wartime leadership – particularly during election time — is embroidered everywhere in American history. The U.S. has only enjoyed 16 years of peace in its 243-year history.

Last April, former President Jimmy Carter revealed that Trump asked him for advice on what to do about China’s rapidly growing economy while Carter was teaching Sunday school in Plains, Georgia. Trump was worried that Beijing could overtake the U.S. as the world’s richest country.

The 94-year-old former president told him China was getting ahead of the U.S. because Washington has been at war with other countries for most of its history. He explained to Trump that China’s rapid economic expansion was facilitated by government investment and peaceful relations with the rest of the world. He told Trump he could learn what to do from that lesson in history. Considering that the U.S. spends more on military hardware than most of the world combined, it was easy for pacifist Carter to illustrate the problem.

The president who studiously avoided the Vietnam draft multiple times now says the country needs to prepare to fight a war against the “China virus,” a provocative term in this dangerous time. His pronouncement was a startling reversal of tactics and strategy to combat the looming pandemic.

Since yesterday, Trump has “always” believed the coronavirus outbreak was “a pandemic, long before it was called a pandemic.” Forget that last January when the coronavirus pandemic was still just a dire warning.

“We have it totally under control,” happy talking Trump declared.

Now that his economic engine has expired in the face of the growing pandemic and its horrific impact on travel, schools, restaurants, and retailers, he is suddenly singing another tune. Whether or not it has anything to do with getting re-elected after dropping the ball so many times, the fact that Trump looks like he is dribbling is apparently of no consequence.

“Every generation of Americans has been called to make shared sacrifices for the good of the nation,” Trump now says.

“Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it; and this I know, my lords, that where laws end, tyranny begins,” Pitt once observed.

The brilliant Britisher’s sage advice has never been more relevant to Americans than it is now that Trump has laid claim to great responsibilities he has so far failed to even comprehend, much less come to grips with.


https://exjournalistsunite.wordpress.com/2020/03/20/there-are-lessons-in-history-trump-should-learn/

CHAOS, THY NAME IS TRUMP – REBLOG – SHINBONE STAR

CHAOS, THY NAME IS TRUMP

Throughout his life in business and politics, Donald J. Trump has created chaos. It’s his trademark management style. That it has served him well in his quest to become the richest and most powerful person on the planet will be hotly debated by historians for decades if not centuries to come.

Unfortunately, chaos is the last type of management style needed when dealing with a deadly health crisis such as COVID-19. Trump’s chaotic handling of the onset of the disease in our country has resulted in some 350 deaths, with some 27,000 of our fellow citizens testing positive for the virus.

At least some of the victims might have had a chance of fighting off the fatal bug had Trump managed the situation in a calm, efficient, effective manner, by allowing the medical and scientific community to shape a rapid and all-inclusive response rather than playing politics and trying to keep the number of reported cases artificially low in order to prevent the economy from tanking and threatening his chances of staying in the White House for four more years.

Chaos now threatens the lives of anyone suffering from Coronavirus. Test kits are still absent from many hot spots. Respirators that can help those already gravely sick with the virus are in short supply across the country, even though the government has thousands of them in storage. Yes, manufacturers are retooling plants in order to produce more of these valuable machines but it will be months before they are available.

That it took nearly two months for Trump to turn to corporate America for help illustrates his chaotic approach to management.

Chaos threatens our hope of battling the disease. Trump promises the quick release of a drug, chloroquine, that he says will cure the afflicted and stop the spread of coronavirus. His administration’s leading medical and science experts say this information is not true. It could be months (as much as 18 months) before there is an effective treatment for coronavirus.

What do we get?

Chaos, not facts. Chaos, not truth.

Throughout his life in business and politics, Donald J. Trump has created chaos. It’s his trademark management style. That it has served him well in his quest to become the richest and most powerful person on the planet will be hotly debated by historians for decades if not centuries to come.

Unfortunately, chaos is the last type of management style needed when dealing with a deadly health crisis such as COVID-19. Trump’s chaotic handling of the onset of the disease in our country has resulted in some 350 deaths, with some 27,000 of our fellow citizens testing positive for the virus.

At least some of the victims might have had a chance of fighting off the fatal bug had Trump managed the situation in a calm, efficient, effective manner, by allowing the medical and scientific community to shape a rapid and all-inclusive response rather than playing politics and trying to keep the number of reported cases artificially low in order to prevent the economy from tanking and threatening his chances of staying in the White House for four more years.

Chaos now threatens the lives of anyone suffering from coronavirus. Test kits are still absent from many hot spots. Respirators that can help those already gravely sick with the virus are in short supply across the country, even though the government has thousands of them in storage. Yes, manufacturers are retooling plants in order to produce more of these valuable machines but it will be months before they are available.

That it took nearly two months for Trump to turn to corporate America for help illustrates his chaotic approach to management.

Chaos threatens our hope of battling the disease. Trump promises the quick release of a drug, chloroquine, that he says will cure the afflicted and stop the spread of coronavirus. His administration’s leading medical and science experts say this is not true. It could be months before an effective treatment for coronavirus becomes publicly available.

Chaos, not facts. Chaos, not truth. Chaos, has been Trump’s management style throughout his life and especially during the past three years. Chaos is not what victims of COVID-19 need!

Trump fails in desperate attempt to save his political skin – REBLOG – The Shinbone Star

This is a good summary of how we’ve gotten to where we are. How long will we stay here? Very good question. As one of the vulnerable ones, I would really like tests available. I’d like to know if Worcester County has many, few, or no cases. As it stands, Massachusetts has almost no tests available, not even in our biggest and best hospitals and here in the boonies, I’m sure we have none at all. Thus, the only people who get tested are athletes who get paid in the millions of dollars. Apparently, a knowledge of the risks is available only to the rich and famous.

What a shock, eh? Hey, there’s no inequality in THIS country!


 

THE SHINBONE STAR

Impeached President Donald J. Trump failed last night in a desperate attempt to save his political skin with a television talk designed to calm a nervous nation confronted with a killer virus.

After using the power of the media to deliver details of a series of legislative and economic actions — including a ban on travel from Europe for 30 days — and bragging about how his administration had managed to keep the deadly novel coronavirus from sweeping across the country, Trump uttered this unforgettable line:

“I will always put the well-being of America first.”

Those words must have been comforting for relatives of the 38 Americans who have already died from coronavirus and the nearly 1,200 others diagnosed with the disease over the past few weeks.

But the real problem with that bogus and pandering statement is that it came after more than a month of Trump downplaying the…

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Putin, Trump, Sanders, and the futile search for national intelligence – Reblog

Well, let’s see. We have plague. War is ever with us along with brother famine and of course, death. If this isn’t them running amok, what ARE they doing? Warming up for the Big one?



 

THE SHINBONE STAR

Is anyone beginning to wonder if the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse are running amok? Have they always been more than a metaphor?

China, Asia and the rest of the known world are threatened by plague. War and famine is consuming the Middle East. Kenya is tormented by spreading hordes of locusts. And intemperate Donald Trump still comfortably occupies the White House.

For a time it seemed the Democrats would come out fighting when the election season kicked off, dukes up ready to sock Trump in the eye when the campaign officially began. Instead, they turned their considerable energies on each other while the Trumpian menace romped across the landscape.

Examples of Trump’s heavy-handed rule abound. The most egregious of late is that Trump has repeatedly neutered the 17-member United States Intelligence Community by firing Directors Of National Intelligence (DNI), who apparently keep wanting to tell the truth about Russian…

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We’re living in the Republican Party’s Altered States – REBLOG – Shinbone Star

A good summary with more facts than I can muster. I’m always glad when someone else writes these articles because I get depressed looking for facts. Here I am in the middle of the muck and mire. I was sure retirement would be easier than working!

These days, I think I’d rather work 10-hour days than deal with the stress of our current so-called government.

THE SHINBONE STAR

Greetings from Earth Two!

The Republican Party has gradually divorced itself from the real world and taken a not insignificant amount of the population with it. There will be no witnesses or evidence in the Senate Trial of Donald Trump because on Earth Two, we don’t need no stinking witness.

With the Senate impeachment trial in its second week the sight of Ken Starr decrying the politicization of the impeachment process is hilariously terrifying. Starr is the guy who worked to impeach a president who lied about being a sexist pig, but now defends a sexist pig who was elected president because he is a xenophobic, racist and sexist pig.

Alan Dershowitz declared anything done by the president is okay if It was done for . . . oh, bullshit.

Pat Cippolone is straight up LYING and Pam Bondi is still pushing a conspiracy theory about the Bidens and Burisma…

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A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE! FROM THE SHINBONE STAR – Marilyn Armstrong

A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!

WRITTEN BY MADMEGSBLOG

A small but significant Christmas miracle recently happened on Friday.

The magazine Christianity Today published an op-ed that said Trump should be removed from office.

It seems like the Evangelicals denounced their quasi-prophet, and boy, what a denouncement it was! Yes, the very same people who claimed with absolute certainty and not an ounce of shame, that Trump was sent from God himself to the White House to save us from….well, I’m not sure what, but it’s all moot now.

That unbelievable whirlwind romance between a narcissistic sociopath and the conservative, religious elite is over.

I am so delighted that I am not even going to nit-pick the Evangelicals with silly questions like why is this particular sin the winner? Or ask them why after all this time they suddenly find his Twitter rants and treatment of women immoral?

Even though I really want to, I’m not going to try to uncover the mystery of God’s horrible choice in a president allegedly, of course. Instead, I’m going to sit back and watch this surprising yet absolutely satisfying gift unwrap itself. Or rather, unravel. Bigly.

As you’d expect, the IMPOTUS responded instantly to the op-ed that called for his removal from office as all the cool commander-in-Cheetos do it … It started off pretty ‘Presidential’ for him:


Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump

I guess the magazine, “Christianity Today,” is looking for Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, or those of the socialist/communist bent, to guard their religion. How about Sleepy Joe? The fact is, no President has ever done what I have done for Evangelicals, or religion itself!
114K –
Twitter Ads info and privacy –

I’m guessing there may be a few Muslims who disagree with that last part … just saying.  And just like a screen door in a hurricane, his retorts escalated from there. I guess he was expecting more than an “It’s you, not me” rejection from the very people who could ignore the multitude of this man’s “indiscretions” (sins) and abhorrent hateful rhetoric just for political power. Apparently, Jesus approved though?

Now, as the orange hurricane grows and Trump keeps showing us who he truly is, as he abandons his TV luster (still ungodly), the cheap and obviously orange veneer can’t hide what was really in front of his believers and yes-men the whole time. All the people who actually sacrificed, in some cases, everything for this charlatan might pause to ask how God and their churches could be wrong?

This dissidence and public rejection from a powerful, nationally influential congregation sends a message to everyone. Many fans and followers of the Orange One won’t question their Church and their congregation. Sanity could even be restored in some areas. Perhaps another miracle in the making!

Trump’s ego sold him on his ability to con the Holy Grail of marks — religion. He went after the biggest target because they were necessary. The Conservative Right Wing Evangelicals’  wealth and influence are paramount to Republican politics. And their stunning and scathing rejection was an assault he didn’t see coming. Trump was conned by his own con.

And maybe you can’t screw with God and get away with it?

Since the Evangelicals swore it was God himself who sent The Orange One to Washington, it would appear someone has some explaining to do.

I’m in the camp that believes there’s no longer a point of return for the Republican party; morally ethically and possibly politically. Everyone needs to stop hoping that these people will find their hearts or conscience or, I don’t know, maybe their duty to their country.

This is not the same GOP you think is just buried somewhere deep down in Mitch McConnell’s neck. That party isn’t going to come back. They sold their souls long before Trump won the Republican nomination. The GOP is responsible for Trump and they have been the trick behind his con.

Trump is their Frankenstein and the irreparable damage is deeper than anyone thought possible.  I know my hope has been all but lost….unless this beautiful stocking stuffer that could be a “sorry” from above, makes them pause.

No, they don’t suddenly get their hearts back like some Christmas movie and start doing the right thing. But just maybe they realize what will happen to their own careers, and even their futures outside of politics if this man does get kicked out of office.

All it takes is one Republican to worry about covering his own treasonous ass to start thinking somewhat clearly. They aren’t going to suddenly agree with healthcare for all or that poverty is the government’s problem, but they might vote to push the clown back into its box.

Whatever happens, I’m making popcorn watching it unfold without despair for the first time in what feels like a century within three years and I know I’m not alone with his misery.

So I say to you all: Just enjoy this little nugget of glory! Let’s all bask in this real-life Christmas movie/heavenly blessing sent from a possibly sheepish savior above. And dammit, hark those herald Angels sing!

Hallelujah!! Merry Christmas!! Happy Holidays! Feliz Navidad!!

Let’s Make America Sane Again!

THE HOW AND WHY OF IMPEACHMENT – Reblog – THE SHINBONE STAR

As much as you may view this as politics, it is also education. Impeachment is a complicated business with a single motive: to protect the American Constitution.

I can see all the sides of this impeachment. I understand why Nancy Pelosi wanted to wait and I can see why she changed her mind. I agree with the three scholars who feel that if Trump doesn’t warrant an impeachment, no one does. On the other hand, I also completely understood the one who felt we needed to give the people time to absorb the data and get on board.

I also understand that since the President’s office has categorically refused to provide any of the documents or testimony required by subpoenas, is there any value in waiting when — even if the Supreme Court nods in the Democrat’s direction — it does not necessarily mean the President or his coterie of evil-doers will comply. It would not be the first time an American President refused to obey an order from the Supreme Court.

So what are we to do? If it were possible — if the election weren’t so close — I would slow it down and allow more Americans to understand why impeachment is critically important to us. 

Is it possible to slow it down? I don’t think so. But I don’t have answers. Just many more questions.


The Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach and remove “the President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States” upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

The last word in this sentence is very important in today’s political world.

Without doubt, Donald J. Trump and members of his entire crew aboard and piloting his Ship of Vipers have amassed enough misdemeanors by their refusal to abide by the numerous subpoenas they are ignoring at his order.

The charge of high crimes and misdemeanors covers allegations of misconduct by officials, such as perjury of oath, abuse of authority, bribery, intimidation, misuse of assets, failure to supervise, dereliction of duty, unbecoming conduct, refusal to obey a lawful order, chronic intoxication, and tax evasion. Tax evasion is a key phrase here and the reason Trump is fighting so fiercely to prevent the House or anyone else from accessing his returns.

The Constitution does not define bribery. It is a crime that has long existed in English and American common law. It takes place when a person gives official money or gifts to influence the official’s behavior in office. For example, if defendant Smith pays federal Judge Jones $10,000 to find Smith not guilty, the crime of bribery has occurred. It seems to fit Trump to a T. Only this time, he withheld money from Ukraine for a political favor against his political opponent, Democrat Joe Biden, and son Hunter.

It should be remembered that the impeachment process is political, not criminal.

According to the rules of impeachment:

  1. The House Judiciary Committee holds hearings and, if necessary, prepares articles of impeachment. These are the charges against the official.
  2. If a majority of the committee votes to approve the articles, the whole House debates and votes on them.
  3. If a majority of the House votes to impeach the official on any article,  the official must then stand trial in the Senate.
  4.  For the official to be removed from office, two-thirds of the Senate must vote to convict the official. Upon conviction, the official is automatically removed from office and, if the Senate so decides, may be forbidden from holding governmental office again.

Rule 3 doesn’t give Mitch McConnell or Lindsey Graham — or anyone else the right to block the impeachment.

The oath used today has not changed since 1966 and is prescribed in Title 5, Section 3331 of the United States Code. It reads:


“I, AB, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”


In contrast to the presidential oath, where it’s used only by tradition, the phrase “so help me God” has been part of the official oath of office for non-presidential offices since 1862.

Each and every one of them swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”

When the subject of an oath arose during the Federal Constitutional Convention in 1787, the founders were divided. Should an oath be required in a free country at all? And should state officials swear allegiance to the federal Constitution, or should federal officials swear to uphold state constitutions as well as the U.S. Constitution?

According to the History, Art And Archives web page of the House of Representatives: “Delegate James Wilson of Pennsylvania viewed oaths as ‘left-handed security only’ and that ‘a good government did not need them and a bad one could not or ought not to be supported.’ The lexicographer and political writer Noah Webster called oaths ‘instruments of slavery’ and a ‘badge of folly, borrowed from the dark ages of bigotry.’ Both Wilson and Webster argued that people would be naturally inclined to support just governments, so oaths were unnecessary.  Many others thought such concerns were overwrought. In his 1833 Commentaries on the Constitution, Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story wrote that requiring oaths for government officials ‘would seem to be a proposition too clear to render any reasoning necessary in support of it.’”

The web page continues: “The current practice for swearing-in Members is an innovation of Speaker Nicholas Longworth of Ohio, who abandoned the practice of Members taking the oath by state delegations in 1929. Longworth altered the practice because he hoped the mass swearing-in would better ‘comport with the dignity and solemnity’ of the ceremony and, according to some historical accounts, to avoid a potential attempt to challenge the seating of Oscar De Priest of Illinois, the first African- American elected to Congress in the 20th century.

“While subsequent Speakers went back to the original method, in 1937 Speaker William B. Bankhead chose to return to the en masse swearing-in and this has remained the practice. Since the 80th Congress (1947–1949), Members have also been required to sign an oath, which is held by the Clerk of the House.”

During the Constitutional Convention, James Madison of Virginia successfully argued that an election every four years did not provide enough of a check on a president who was incapacitated or abusing the power of the office. He contended that “loss of capacity or corruption . . . might be fatal to the republic” if the president could not be removed until the next election.

This is an excellent defense to the oft used mantra of “let the voters decide.” George Mason of Virginia proposed adding “maladministration.” He thought treason and bribery did not cover all the harm a president might do.

As we can sadly see, Mason’s fears were well-founded.

If the Founding Fathers could see how our entire governmental process has been stolen by the Republican Party, they would likely suffer apoplexy.

Likely if the Democrats were the target of impeachment charges, they would vote party line to quash the impeachment. It’s how every presidential impeachment attempt has ended.

In a perfect, ethical and moral political world one can only dream that the Democratic Party would stand erect and purge their embarrassment. Obviously, the Trumplican Party will cling to their crooked, vile captain and vote nay. Like Captain Queeg in “The Caine Mutiny,” Donald Trump, Captain of his Ship of Vipers, sits and juggles his marbles — as it were.


Check out the original on The Shinbone Star. They have written some brilliant material that can answer a lot of questions. No, they are not a neutral voice, but they are also right.